Orion Minerals said that it will raise AUD25m ($19.5m) through share placement towards advancing the Prieska Copper-Zinc Project and the Okiep Copper Complex project in South Africa.

The capital raising will be held through a two-tranche placement to sophisticated and professional investors, said the company. The placement involves nearly 694.4 million shares to be issued at AUD0.036 ($0.028) per fully paid ordinary share.

Orion Minerals said that the new capital will enable it to advance the development-ready Prieska Copper-Zinc Project to a final investment decision (FID) in the latter half of this year.

The company will also be able to carry out early-works and get a comprehensive project funding package.

At the Okiep Copper Complex, the company can move ahead with resource evaluation and exploration work. Besides, the company can execute the potential acquisition of the advanced copper development asset and quickly bring it to production.

Furthermore, the company will use the proceeds for also progressing an exploration programme across various near-mine and regional exploration targets that have been recently defined in the Areachap Province of the Northern Cape.

Orion Minerals managing director Errol Smart said: “This is a transformational capital raising for Orion which marks the culmination of many years of hard work, firstly to bring the Prieska Project to the point where it is now one of the very few fully-permitted and development-ready base metal projects anywhere in the world.

“Our more recent OCC transaction is also a game-changer for the Company, bringing an outstanding asset in a premier copper mining district into our portfolio which we believe can be brought into production relatively quickly.”

Earlier this month, Orion Minerals secured an option for acquiring and consolidating dominant ownership of the Okiep Copper Complex.